The Effects Of Conflicts On Food Security In Igad Region
Gicheru, Jeremiah M
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This study looks at how conflicts have caused food insecurity in the IGAD region, a case of Laikipia County in Kenya. The study acknowledges that residents in Laikipia County have suffered poverty due to conflicts. Empirical evidence has been drawn from previous research, journalist articles and documentation from various parts of the IGAD region and more so the County government of Laikipia. The study answered the following questions: 1) What are the effects of conflicts on food security in the IGAD region? 2) What are the effects of conflicts on food security in Laikipia county of Kenya? and 3) Are the current strategies and policy measures adequate to address the challenge of food insecurity in Laikipia county and Kenya at large? The study set out two hypotheses:1) There is an inverse relationship between conflict and food insecurity and 2) Ineffective conflict management is directly proportional to food insecurity in Laikipia county in Kenya. A case study was used for this study to show that the situation in Laikipia county of Kenya is similar to other areas that have had conflicts affecting food security in the IGAD region. Random sampling was employed in selecting 100 respondents in Laikipia county. There were other 10 key informants purposively selected which consisted of Journalists based, NGO workers and county government officials in Laikipia county. Five data collection enumerators were recruited through the chief´s offices in Laikipia West, east and North. They collected the data through administering questionnaires to the respondents. The data was then entered in Excel template, cleaned validated and exported to SPSS for analysis. The findings revealed that Laikipia County has suffered conflict which have impacted negatively on food security. Conflicts between different communities are attributed to fight over water and pasture, land rights and theft of livestock. Residents in Laikipia have been experiencing cattle rustling and banditry for over three decades now, where bandits strike with impunity to kill, injure and steal livestock. Hundreds have lost their lives and thousands of livestock stolen and crops destroyed rendering them to transition into poverty. Farmers have been the worst hit by the conflicts since they lose both their crops and livestock. Illegal grazers who are armed destroy electric fences to access and camp in private ranches/land to graze their livestock. They do this as they steal any livestock from the neighborhoods. Farmers have been displaced and flee away for their lives abandoning their crop fields. This has exposed them to food insecurity since they do not have other sources of livelihood. Currently, the government efforts have borne fruits in controlling and containing the illegal grazers even after recruiting and deploying the national police reservists. The study has generated several recommendations: there is need for instantaneous actions to ensure sufficient food access for the hungry in Laikipia county and Kenya at large. The county government and NGOs need to develop initiatives for other sources of livelihood other than farming in the area already prone to conflicts based on natural resources as well as creation of civil society organizations and formation of suitable institutional policy atmosphere. There should be Policies in Laikipia County to deal with the conflict and food insecurity issues as well as supervisory framework favorable to private and local initiatives. The rural economies can also be diversified through value addition of agricultural products. It is also crucial to have an insurance plan for farmers to cushion them against natural and man-made disasters that make them loose their crops and livestock leaving them devastated economically.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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